07.05.2009 -

UNESCO celebrates World Press Freedom Day in Jamaica

The UNESCO Kingston Office celebrated World Press Freedom Day 2009 by a public forum under the theme 'Media and Dialogue'. It was held on 4 May at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston, under the patronage of Marc-Olivier Gendry, Ambassador of France to Jamaica.

The event took the form of a panel discussion that was chaired by Kwame Boafo, Director of UNESCO's Office in Kingston. It featured the presentations by Byron Buckley, President of the Press Association of Jamaica; and Claude Robinson, Chairman of the Policy and Legislative Committee of Jamaica's Broadcasting Commission.


The following topics were on the agenda of the forum:

  • Media dialogue and governance;
  • Media dialogue and mutual understanding in society;
  • Public service broadcasting and social
  • Training standards and ethics.

Both Mr Robinson and Mr Buckley spoke of the need for graduates of the Caribbean communication schools to be adequately prepared to the job market. They also stressed of the importance for journalists to maintain high ethical standards.


Isidro Fernandez Aballí, Adviser for Communication and Information at UNESCO's Kingston Office, emphasized the need for dialogue within the media in order to start focusing on positive aspects of the Caribbean culture, such as information and communication technologies (ICT) in education, rather than on topics like crime and violence.


The session was well received by the audience, which included journalists, public relations practitioners and general public. UNESCO will also celebrate World Press Freedom Day at the regional level with the Caribbean Media Conference in Grenada, on 14 and 15 May 2009.

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